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Showing posts from 2014

Comics That Rock: SING NO EVIL by JP Ahonen & KP Alare

This comic book (or graphic novel, if you prefer) is a collection that mixes art, music and fantasy into a story of a bunch of friends trying to make it to the next level as a band. And it takes place in Finland...cool.

A story of pure rock angst, SING NO EVIL follows the band, Perkeros, and their frontman, Aksel, on a quest to tame the rock n' roll beast. Can he control and become a conduit for the wild music he hears in his head.

JP Ahonen and KP Alare create an intoxicating comic about a band in search of that elusive sound that will bring them to the next level. It is also about the struggle to be a creative artist and struggle with job, school, relationships, etc. There is a lot of humor woven in, and a love of metal. 
If you're into comics and music, and want to experience both blended together in a mystical tale of searching for that perfect song, you'll want to pick up SING NO EVIL. The tale is told from the perspective of the bandmates, specifically lead crooner, Aks…

The Art of Space by Ron Miller PLUS a giveaway

Do you remember the first science fiction bookcover art that really struck you? Can you recall a stylized film or television show that hooked you on science fiction? Maybe it was a comic book cover from the Silver Age. I recall Star Wars having something to do with it for me as a little boy. I was hooked  at the pure imagination of it. Other worlds, magnificent spaceships, aliens; all of it drew me in.

I was recently sent by the good folks at the Zenith Press, a copy of The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, From the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era from award-winning artist and best-selling author Ron Miller, and it is a collection that is out of this world.

Miller covers each era of space art, and how it was developed at the time with the resources, knowledge and vision of the artists of the day. He covers individual artists and movements from the decades, and brings to life over 350 incredible illustrations with informative discussion and background on each.


The…

Release day: STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel #Station11

STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel

This book isn't only about Shakespeare. Or the apocalypse. Or fortune and fame. Or celebrity. Or the value of friendship. Or the meaning of family. Or secrets. Or shared pasts. Or nostalgia. Or an uncertain future.

This book is not about survival. Or murder. Or loosing everyone you've ever loved. It is not about mad men. Or false communities. Or false prophets. Or going down the wrong path. Or disappearing forever.

It is not about performance art. Or facade. Or art for art's sake. Or art for personal pleasure. It is not about theater. Or about music. Or a last plane ride. Or that last cup of coffee. 

It is not about comic books. Or science fictional escape. It is not about fathers and sons. Or brothers and sisters.

It is not about a stranger trying to save a man's life. It is not about those who survive letting the past go. And this book is not about remembering it as well.

It is about all of those things, and more.

I really feel Statio…

Upcoming Comics Collaboration: Mike Allred and Warren Ellis on The Spirit of Bacardi

Every now and then a pretty amazing sounding comics collaboration comes around and when I heard about this new project from Bacardi Rum (yes, that is a new comic book coming from the makers of Bacardi rum), well I just had to share it. 

Bacardi assembled the dynamic team of legendary comics scribe, Warren Ellis, and Madman creator, Mike Allred, to collaborate and tell the story of the Bacardi family, through the plight of Emilio Bacardi, the revolutionary figure from the Bacardi family history.

Everything Warren Ellis writes is worth a gander as he's up there in that league of amazing talents that warrant a look whenever he puts pen to paper, or clicks at the keyboard, as that's the way it generally goes these days.



I received these terrific promotional photos, and Bacardi has a teaser trailer featuring some behind the scenes/interview type bits about the collaboration with the two wacky (and beloved) creators on their site. And here's the coolest part -- The Spirit of BACARD…

Books and sunshine on my mind: THIS ONE SUMMER by Julian and Mariko Tamaki

Sometimes books find their way to me in funny ways. Call it serendipity. I look for books everywhere and try to read new and different things although there never seems to be enough time. As I was leaving work on a summer Friday, on a shelf where people place extra books you can take, I saw a copy of THIS ONE SUMMER and picked up this graphic novel to take home. It reminded me of summers spent at the Jersey Shore as a kid, and I wanted to follow the story of Rose and Windy, remembering what it was like to almost be a teen.


When I got home a few hours later, I opened the Sunday New York Times book review section, I saw a wonderful review praising the book. I was glad I picked it up and I can't wait to continue reading it. Just have to finish one or two things first, but I thought it was worth mentioning.


A Long Time Coming, reading Y THE LAST MAN volume by volume

Last weekend I was looking through my collection of comics trade paperbacks on my shelves, some of which I've read and others I have not, and I happened upon a series which I always intended to read and just never got around to it. Until now.

So, with great excitement I cracked open volume 1 of Y the Last Man just a few days ago and jumped right in. I've a few holes in my collection and was able to purchase volume 3 digitally, and borrow volume 5 from a friend. I'll likely buy these so that I have the whole trade paperback collection in print for the library.

It is just a few days later, and I'm midway through volume 5, and enjoying the series very much. 

Thought I should just report in, with that reading update. And if you're like me and haven't read this great series yet. It's not too late.


And the Party Rages On

A psychedelic cocktail of scenes and images from books and film come to mind when thinking about how to explain Afterparty by Daryl Gregory. When I was contacted and asked if I'd read and review this novel, I had to admit, I was intrigued. Maybe I pictured Morpheus giving me a choice, but this time with the yellow pill featured on the book jacket. Maybe. Either way, down the rabbit hole I was going. First thing that came to mind while reading was SF master, Philip K Dick and for me, his work,A Scanner Darkly, one of the clear inspirations. Clearly PKD was whispering in the author's ear late into the night.
In Gregory's novel we are jettisoned into the near future after the Smart Drug revolution, where any school kid with a chem-jet and access to the net can download and print designer drugs. 
As you can imagine, this revolutionizes things and when a new, god-like drug known as Numinous leads a street kid to addiction and suicide, it gets personal for one Lyda Rose, especially…

RedDevil 4 by Eric C. Leuthardt

Imagine it. A time right ahead of where we are right now. The not so distant future where neurotransmitters are implanted in everyone's brain.

Oh wait, it's not that far-fetched because we already have technology like this and well beyond its infancy. We are aware that tomorrow can easily become today. That much we know, things like Google Glass, microprocessors and need I say the threat of a real Skynet? (Stay off the grid, man.)

Real life neurosurgeon and biomedical engineer, Eric C. Leuthardt, has taken much of his knowledge from his incredible day job and mixed it into a dynamic story about what can go drastically wrong in the near future.

In REDDEVIL 4, we follow Dr. Hagan Maerici, who spends his days—and most nights—in his lab, working on his near breakthrough with artificial intelligence. Not only is his job on the line, as his boss constantly hounds him for results, but it is not playing out well at home, mostly because he's never there. His wife's patience is dra…

The Flight of the Silvers by Daniel Price and Why Me?

Imagine the end of the world. And in this version of The End, for reasons unknown to you, a powerful sphere that surrounds you somehow magically protects you, while at the same time allowing you to see the world around you enveloped in an otherworldly bright light and be destroyed.

Crazy, right?
Even crazier, perhaps, imagine then waking up in a place similar to where you were when this all went down, but somehow even though the world looks the same, its also different. You wonder if you dreamed it all. Then you start to notice little things that aren't right or the same, and as you wonder if you are in fact going crazy, you begin to figure out you're not in the same place you had been when the protective sphere shielded you. This place is different and you don't know why until the differences of this world slowly make it clear.
The Flight of the Silvers by Daniel Price starts off with a strange occurrence happening on the highway. Two siblings witness an unexplained disaster…

SPACEHAWK by Basil Wolverton, a brilliant & otherworldly collection from Fantagraphics

I picked up this collection last year from Fantagraphics, and honestly, it is stunning. The colors and lines of Basil Wolverton's work -- on the cover alone -- are terrific. Once you dip into the pages and it is like exploring psychedelic space ways and far out locations. His spacecraft and machinations are creative and harken back to a time of science fiction comics that laid the ground work for so much that has come in later years.

The Fantagraphics collection, is massively oversize, I'm talking "artist edition" type size, and as much as I love to see all the detail and colors in this big size, it is somewhat unwieldy. After all, if I put every "coffee table book" I own on my actual coffee table, well that table would be stacked.

I would have personally enjoyed this book in a somewhat smaller "large" format, if that makes any sense. I'm not sure what the perfect size would have been but something a bit more handy. Something larger than normal …

Found Object: Rocks and Minerals, a Golden Press book from 1957

I found this Golden Nature Guide while running jewelry related errands with my wife in New Jersey a while back. I thought it was a neat little piece of publishing history. I immediately liked this miniature reference book, especially the jacket with the rock hammer, which reminded me of "The Shawshank Redemption," and if you've seen that great film, you'll know exactly why.



I also loved seeing the $1.25 retail price, a clear reflection of its publication year, 1957, when it was produced in the USA by Western Publishing Company, Inc., published by the Golden Press. For a little history on Golden Press, click here.


Filled with charming illustrations such as this one of a prospecting couple exploring subterranean rock structures, Rocks and Minerals, a Golden Nature Guide, was not just a flat reference book but more a piece of cultural history and reflected the era it was published. Within the small paperback, all 160 pages included great photos, classic illustration work …